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The Barnacle

Change, Part 2

Suddenly Everything Has Changed

When last I wrote, somewhere in the pre-dawn of 2022, I concluded my blog post with this gem of a sentence: “While there is no antidote to The Great Resignation, there is an answer. People change. Organizations change. Embrace it and embrace each other.”

I was so optimistic! Little did I know!

From where I sit in April of 2023 (in a condo at The Beach Club in Gulf Shores, AL), the only thing that has changed in the past 24 hours has been the weather. Before today, however?

It’s hard to quantify how much change a person, family, or organization can take before it breaks. Over the course of the last 18 months, 2 Fish Co said goodbye to some really terrific people who needed change. Kim Burrows, our Studio and Accounting Manager; Andrea Pratt, our first on-staff content developer; Rachel Hindley, a terrific Relationship Manager; Matt Kuczynski, our Senior Relationship Manager; Lucas Balk, our first Digital Marketing Lead; and Lisa Talarczyk, one of our first Creative Leads. Six people from a team of nine.

We experienced client turnover heretofore unseen in my 30 years of marketing and design. My father, David Millen, passed away in August of last year. Shelly’s dad, Peter Westers, passed away the week before Thanksgiving last year. In January, our beloved friend Chris Smit passed away.

In the movie Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Captain Kirk’s son reminds him of his own words earlier in the film, “How we face death is at least as important as how we face life.” And yes, I just quoted a Star Trek movie, but the sentiment is universal and applies to so much more than life-and-death battles in outer space.

Change yr mind.

In January of last year, we welcomed Mikayla Jarratt to Team 2 Fish Co as our new Relationship Manager. Mikayla is a well-traveled and accomplished graduate of Grand Valley State University and has brought her distinct approach to client relations to bear with much success. In August, we welcomed Gabrielle McKeever as Creative Lead. Gabba is an award-winning Michigan State University graduate named One To Watch by Graphic Design USA in 2022. Thomas Ensley and Tina Tilton both joined us for a time as Digital Marketing Lead and Project Manager, respectively. Both have also since moved on.

These comings and goings haven’t been easy. New people need to learn both new things and new people. Old team members need to learn new team members and develop new ways of working together. How we work with each other is at least as important as how we do our work. There has been a sadness looking backward and a nervousness looking forward. But as a team, we have decided to embrace the change and look for ways to build better processes and tackle new challenges.

People change jobs. Lives end and begin. The formula for Coca-Cola changes and then changes back. What we face daily is an inevitable change. How we deal with this change reveals much about our character and mindset. So, in an effort to be both consistent and flexible, I offer this revision to the closing sentence from my post last year:

While there is no antidote to change, there is an answer. People change. Organizations change. Embrace change and embrace each other.